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Shaquille O'Neal has seemingly questioned Ben Simmons' battles with mental health, appearing to accuse the Aussie of using it as some sort of tool during his stand-off with the Philadelphia 76ers.
After a tumultuous last six months with the Sixers in which he fell out with head coach Doc Rivers, Simmons was finally traded to the Brooklyn Nets after refusing to play in Philly this season.
A bunch of people, including Simmons' former teammates such as Joel Embiid, have had plenty to say about him.
And one person who certainly hasn't held back in dishing out scathing criticism is four-time NBA champion O'Neal.
Shaq recently labelled Simmons a "cry baby" following the ugly fall-out in Philadelphia and he has now doubled down on those comments, insisting the 25-year-old needs to get thicker skin.
"There is a difference between mental health and mental fortitude," Shaq told Inside the NBA.
Shaq is spot on with the Ben Simmons situation pic.twitter.com/SrB5QabXXz- Santino (@J_Santino13) February 16, 2022
"You know, I am not comparing him to me, but you don't think I have heard 'we can't win with Shaq'?
"You don't think I've heard 'Shaq's not worth 120 (million dollars)? You don't think I heard 'don't throw it to Shaq, D-Wade, you shoot?' I've heard it all and what makes us great is we learn how to persevere around all of that.
"Not gonna get into the mental health thing because I was in L.A. yesterday and I've seen real mental health. How many homeless people out there and you just talk to them and like they have problems that we don't know about.
"I wish him well, I wish him the best, but that is when the problem started. It just started as a petty situation and then you throw the mental health thing in. And I'm happy for him.
"But the question is, if this problem arises again what are you going to do?
"You don't think I get emails and posts and death threats? I've heard it all. I got booed before. I just wish if this situation ever comes around that he has a tough enough mental fortitude to be able to get through it."
Shaq's remarks come not long after Simmons broke his silence following his departure from Philadelphia.
"I've had some dark times over the last six months and I'm just happy to be in this situation with this team and organisation," Simmons said in a press conference with the Brooklyn Nets.
"People are gonna say what they want. They've said it the last six months and I haven't commented and it is what it is. People are always gonna have their own opinions.
"But I think just the way everybody's welcomed me here has been great. It's been a very positive experience, just being here so far. And I'm looking forward to what's to come."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/NBA on TNT
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